[In the ten seasons that Tony Romo has been the starting quarterback, he's engineered some great fourth-quarter heroics to bring the Cowboys to victories. Since 2006, no quarterback has had more fourth-quarter comeback victories, 25 to be exact, than Tony Romo. His passer rating in the final quarter of football is an astounding 102.9, five points higher than the number two guy (Aaron Rodgers). Romo also holds the mantle of most game-winning drives among active quarterbacks (29) as well as passer rating in the final two minutes (93.1).
Over the next several weeks before the team heads out to Oxnard and starts it all up again, I thought we could take some time to look back at Mr. Clutch Quarterback himself. We're going to rank all of his comeback tales from good to great, from awesome to completely amazing. Here's looking at you, Mr. Romo.]
9. Miles Austin Puts Himself On The Map (Oct. 11, 2009)
Coming into this game, the Cowboys had lost to the Kyle Orton-led Broncos 17-10 in a game where they couldn't find any sort of offensive chemistry. The last thing the Cowboys wanted to do was fall to 2-3 on the season and behind some of their divisional rivals. 2008 was such a letdown for the whole organization that they were determined to be better and make a playoff run. The Chiefs, on the other hand, were just awful having lost every game going 0-4 in the first quarter of the season. They were determined to use their home field advantage and not go 0-5 on the year which can be a death sentence.
The first Cowboys' possession ends in a nicely placed Mat McBriar punt giving the Chiefs the ball inside their own 10-yard line. Matt Cassel (yes, Matt Cassel!) can't seem to get on the same page with his receivers and running backs and the Chiefs punt it back to Dallas where Patrick Crayton muffs it but it rolls out of bounds.
This next drive is stalled by offensive penalties on Andre Gurode and Marc Colombo. Nick Folk comes out to kick a 40-yard field goal but misses as Kansas City gets the ball back at their own 30.
On 2nd and 3, Igor Olshansky picks up a sack on Cassel, then Cassel can't connect with Mark Bradley on the next play forcing another Chiefs' punt. This time Crayton muffs the punt for the second time and it's recovered by Kansas City. Three plays later, the Chiefs send out Ryan Succop and he boots a 47-yarder to give the Chiefs the lead 3-0.
Two plays later, on a Dallas 2nd and 6, Romo fumbles the ball and the Chiefs get their second turnover of the game. Three plays after that, Cassel connects with Mike Vrabel for the 1-yard touchdown pass and the Chiefs are up 10-0. Dallas again fails to do anything with their next drive and the Chiefs also struggle after Cassel is sacked for -7 yards by Keith Brooking.
Romo finally gets it going with just over five minutes in the half. He finds Witten for 10 yards on first down. On back-to-back completions, Romo connects with Miles Austin for 18 and 37 yards respectively. With Marion Barber helping out on the ground, they are able to get to the Kansas City 4. Unfortunately, Romo misses twice in a row and Folk lands a 22-yard field goal to put the Cowboys' on the boards with three points. Chiefs still lead 10-3 with just under two minutes to go, Cassel can't get the Chiefs in scoring range and we're at the half.
The Chiefs have the ball again after the half but DeMarcus Ware gets to Cassel to end the Chiefs drive. The Cowboys come back out just as sluggish and go three and out. The Cowboys defense is called on four penalties on the Chiefs' next drive and Succop makes another field goal to give the Chiefs the 13-3 lead.
In seven plays, Romo leads the Cowboys down to the Chiefs' 45-yard line. On 3rd and 1, Romo finds Crayton for nine yards and the first. On 1st and 10 from the Kansas City 36, Tashard Choice finds a crease in the defense for 36-yards and the score to finally get the ball rolling, so to speak. Cowboys still trail but only by three points. The Cowboys' defense hold the Chiefs on the next drive. Dallas begins their drive with 14 seconds left in the third quarter.
Romo finds Austin on first down for 14 yards. Barber gains another two yards on the ground and then Romo hits Austin wide-open for a 34-yard completion. Barber follows that up with 17 more yards rushing. On 3rd and 10 from the Chiefs 10, Romo and Austin fail to connect but Folk kicks a field goal to tie up the game 13-13.
Cassel then leads the Chiefs on a long 18-play drive down to the Dallas 44. On 4th and 13, Succop's field goal attempt is blocked by Jay Ratliff. Two plays later on 3rd and 5, Romo finds Austin for 59 yards and the score to give the Cowboys a 20-13 lead, their first lead of the game with 2:27 left in the game.
Cassel is leading a really nice two-minute offense finding Bobby Wade for 25 yards and then turning around on the next play to hit Dwayne Bowe for 17 more. On 4th and 7 from the Dallas 16, Cassel hits Bowe again in the end zone for the game-tying touchdown with only 29 seconds left. Dallas kneels the ball and this one is headed for overtime.
Both teams stall on their first overtime drives, on the Chiefs' second possession on 3rd and 9, Cassel is incomplete to Jamaal Charles. Dallas gets another chance and that's all they need as Choice busts out a 24-yard scamper on first down. On 2nd and 15 after Flozell Adams is called for holding, Romo steps up and finds Miles Austin for a 60-yard completion and score as the Cowboys' win 26-20.
Tony Romo went 20-34 for 351 yards and two touchdowns but it was Austin who really came through for the Cowboys and his own career. Austin caught 10 of 15 targets for 250 yards and two touchdowns, it became clear that Austin had arrived but it's all thanks to the quarterback.